The Dodecanese are a group of fifteen significant islands in the southern Aegean Sea, off the coast of Turkey.

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The Dodecanese island group is situated in the southeastern part of the Aegean Sea, and its name, "12 islands," comes from the 12 most notable islands in the region.

These islands are Rhodes, Kos, Karpathos, Kalymnos, Patmos, Astypalea, Simi, Leros, Nisyros, Halki, Tilos, and Lipsi.

However, there are more than 12 Dodecanese Islands, including several small and uninhabited islets. The most popular islands in the Dodecanese that attract the most tourists are Rhodes and Kos, among Greece's top tourist resorts.

Kalymnos, Patmos, and Leros are also relatively popular, with a rapidly growing tourist infrastructure, while maintaining their authentic characteristics. For example, Kalymnos is famous for its sponge-fishing traditions, and it is also a rock-climbing hotspot. Patmos is known for its spiritual atmosphere, while Leros boasts fantastic beaches and picturesque villages.

The rest of the Dodecanese islands are more secluded and non-touristy. This makes them an excellent choice if you enjoy alternative holidays with a peaceful and traditional atmosphere at unspoiled locations. Most of these islands, such as Karpathos, Halki, and Tilos, are known for their beautiful beaches.

Others are known for their unique architecture, such as Simi, which is full of colourful houses and Astypalea, which has an architecture similar to that of the Cycladic islands. In addition, Dodecanese islands such as Lipsi, with its unspoiled nature, and Nisyros, with its active volcano, make excellent destinations for nature lovers.

One of the most prominent features of the Dodecanese islands is their architecture. In addition to traditional farmhouses in their villages, their towns are full of houses with a unique Venetian style that dates back to the Venetian occupation period. In many cases, you will also notice influences from the Cycladic, neoclassical, or Ottoman styles of architecture. At the same time, significant archaeological sites that date back to ancient Greece can be found in a few locations, including Kos.

Regarding the smaller settlements, you will notice mountainous and seafront villages with small fishing ports, depending on which island you choose to visit. Most Dodecanese villages have a traditional style and remain untouched by modern development, especially the smallest ones. Among the prettiest ones, you will find Lindos in Rhodes, which has a medieval castle, Olympos in Karpathos, which is full of colourful houses, and the seafront fishing village of Nimporio in Halki. The Dodecanese islands are also famous for their beaches! The larger islands offer a few well-organized seashores with sunbeds, watersport centres, and tourist facilities.

On the other hand, the less touristy islands offer plenty of opportunities to those who enjoy a serene beachfront landscape with no facilities and unspoiled natural beauty. A few of them can only be reached from the seaside. Some beaches have gained an international reputation thanks to their crystal clear turquoise waters and exotic scenery, including Lindos Bay in Rhodes and Apella Beach in Karpathos.

With such spectacular inland and crystalline beach waters, the Dodecanese islands offer countless opportunities for exploration!